Blanket Flowers and Flip-Flops

gallardiaphoto© Jessica Wesolek 2014

It certainly is time for some catching up, isn’t it?

I thought I would do that, and share a little garden beauty with you.

I love and hate this time of year. Love because the garden is at its peak of glory after a season of pampering, and hate because that season is coming to an end in another month or so.

I still plant at this time – but only perennials for next year. What you see above is Gallardia, better known as Blanket Flower. I have not had luck with these making it through the Winter in the past so I am debating whether to greenhouse them in pots for the Winter, or put them in the ground.

Meanwhile, I had the chance to stick my nose in and record some detail . . .

gallardiapage© Jessica Wesolek, 2014 (Watercolor and Gouache in Stillman & Birn Beta Sketchbook.)

If you compare this to the Spider Flower from last time, you will see that the style is very different. This is more of a painting than a drawing. People often ask me what the difference is.

This is not a scientific answer, but mostly, it depends on how the edges are defined.

If the edges are defined by an ink or pencil line, and the color filled in, the work would usually be called a drawing.

If the paint (color) itself defines the edges, it is more a painting.

An impressionistic approach (like the watercolor sketch last time) is definitely a painting.

I create my flower pages as either drawings or paintings as the mood and the subject dictate. It would probably be better if I were consistent so I could combine them into a book or card line, but I am anything but consistent, so I will just have to create enough of both for that, I guess.

The Gallardia page actually started out one way and changed its mind.

I started the bud as a Gouache painting, did not think it popped enough, inked the edges, and it was ok. Then, somehow, I “painted” the two blossoms instead, and then the page did not look right.

So, I painted over the ink lines.

And people wonder why artists are nuts.

Anyway, that story is in the first edition of “Art Journal Chronicles” which is coming along great.

You commented your support for this kind of publication, and I also believe that the concept is very good, and is not being done by anyone else. If it were, I would surely buy the publication.

Art Journal Chronicles . . .

Here are some of the reasons I am really excited about this series . . .

I am totally being ME in the creation of these books, so they meander as the creative mind actually does. At least my creative mind, but I don’t think I am alone.

My friend, Valerie, has gotten very into making designer jewelry. It’s her current passion and she is putting in a lot of studio time.

“I’m driving myself nuts, because I just keep thinking of new ideas while I’m working on a piece,” she told me.

“That’s awesome,” I replied. “That’s how it’s supposed to be.”

I know that most of you know how that goes. It’s part of what puts us in the state of mind that we will never “catch up”.

And that’s true. We never will, and thank God for that.

Creative work begets more creative ideas, and so it goes.

SO . . . my new books are “in the moment” with that process.

I just explain what I am thinking and what I am doing as I go along with the conception and execution of journal pages.

Then, I throw in tiny art lessons as they come up.

And I am writing the entire book on my iPad, which allows everything about it to be “in the moment”.

The actual journal pages are real life, of course, but my iPad is right beside me and I take photos as I go. Since I work mostly out on my swing during garden time, the shots are sometimes too gray or too blue because the swing is in the shade, or much brighter if I happen to be in the garden room instead.

But, that’s the beauty of it. It is what it is.

Unless it decides to be something else.

I can also grab a digital pen or marker right there in the iPad app to add handwritten notes or call-outs.

The whole thing is so magic, I can’t believe it.

And the books will be PDFs so you can read them on your iPads and tablets and mark them up with your notes too.

I am not just teasing you here – I have over 50 pages of the first Issue done, and I am wanting to keep the books to 75-100 pages each.

So, it won’t be long.

Retreat-CO“All things change, and I think it’s the birthday of the rain.”

That is a line from a Melanie song way back when (remember her?) I loved the song and have never  forgotten that line – it runs through my head every time something does a 180º on me.

The Manitou Retreat was cancelled awhile back because of a lack of sign-ups.

However, I have been talked back into it by some students who just did not want to let it go. That good energy led to some folks I know locally signing up and the retreat is back on.

I know it’s not that far away, but anybody who thinks it would be fun is welcome to sign-up.

I have put the description page back on the website. The accommodations are very affordable and very nice and the town and surrounding area is awesome. Many of you may even be within driving distance. Here’s the Link:

Dumb Flip-Flop Moves . . .

And speaking of flip-flops.

About a week and a half ago, my left ankle was a little sore and I was favoring it.

Then I tripped with my right foot (flip-flop shod) and recovered from falling – at the cost of twisting my left ankle.

I go powering through, right? But now, I am limping, not favoring.

To make a long and stupid story shorter, I have done that same thing THREE more times.

The most inglorious was when I was carrying a dead birdie out to the yard for a proper funeral. I was carrying him in a hand shovel, and when I tripped, he went flying too. Maybe his spirit enjoyed that idea of one last flight.

My spirit was really annoyed.

Mark actually yelled at me: “YOU ARE NOT BEING CAREFUL!”

But I was, you see – I was being very careful where I put my feet – like I always have been since the hip thing in 2006.

I FINALLY figured out that because of limping, I have not been picking my right foot up high enough, and it is catching the edges of bricks, flagstone, etc. Never thought of that. I think any shoes would have been a problem, so I am not just blaming my flip-flops.

Remember this the next time you have the opportunity to hobble around.

The last trip was last evening and this time I REALLY twisted it, and now I have my walker out of storage because I can’t put weight on it.

Nothing is broken, I haven’t fallen (almost but not quite), and it isn’t even swollen, but I sure have pulled some ligament or tendon or some such.

SO some sitting for me for a couple days, and thusly, you have a new blog post!

And you have flip-flops to thank for it.


12 thoughts on “Blanket Flowers and Flip-Flops

  1. Jeanne from Austin

    jessica, I’m sorry you hurt your ankle… but a vision of you with a walker just didn’t fly. I can’t even imagine your being slowed down enough to use it. Perhaps there was a message in this? :-D

    I am so looking forward to the Art Journal Chronicles. It reminded me to look again at the Creativity Knocking piece you put out. It was/is wonderful. I hesitate to ask, with all the things going on in your life right now and your plans, but are you planning to put out any more issues of CK, or has that been supplanted by AJC?

    BTW, the link to the retreat seems to be broken.

  2. Diana in Texas

    Don’t ever like to hear of someone stumbling or tripping and being incapacitated. Hope your ankle heals quickly.
    I loved your reference to how the creative mind is always working, present and future at the same time. Perhaps that’s why the studio is never completely cleaned up. As soon as one project is over and I begin to handle new media, I’m off to another inspired project.
    Thanks for sharing your gorgeous drawings and paintings of flowers. Your art and your flowers are of great inspiration to me. Get well soon.

  3. jessica Post author

    I have fixed the link, Jeanne, and thanks for the heads up. I had an extra space in there and of course, copy/pasted the problem.

    You are right – the walker is too slow for me – especially when it has to maneuver around three Huskies, two cats and various flotsam and jetsam around the house. I never threw it away after I recovered my broken hip and I am glad – it’s just perfect for a person with one functioning ankle!

    Thank you, Diana. Your comments are always so sweet. I really appreciate them.

  4. Deb Sims

    Flip flops, according to most doctors, are dangerous and bad for your joints. That said, there is no way I could live without them. I have discovered Fit Flops and highly recommend them to you. So comfy, very stable, lots of support. I must have 10 pairs and so far have not had an accident while wearing them!
    I’ll be in Santa Fe in October for a retreat with Tory Hughes and will bring the gang along to visit the new gallery!
    P.S.The mental picture of the little bird taking one last flight just cracked me up!

  5. Cindy

    It would be wonderful to attend your class, however, I will not be back to my home in Colorado Springs until after the 19th. The Garden of the Gods is a magical place to visit, however, it is not at state park but a city park of Colorado Springs. Have a wonderful time.

  6. jessica Post author

    Thanks for that correction, Cindy. I have never seen a city park so amazing – would have never guessed and I have been there so many times. I guess I need to read more signs?

  7. Susun

    Don’t feel badly, Jessica. I tripped on flip flops coming down my stairs and broke my shoulder in two places. And my husband is still limping from hip replacement surgery and a remaining bad knee in the other leg. Though I don’t think he’ll trip himself up in flip flops, I’ll remind him to lift up his foot, for sure!

  8. Susun

    Forgot to say that a friend recently twisted her ankle from wedges and ended up in a boot for six weeks. Sounds like you artfully protected yourself! Enjoy the leisure moments!

  9. Vivian Aldridge

    I am one of those people that could not let the Colorado Retreat go!! Hope some of you out there will come out and join us. The fall colors should be spectacular, and the company is always energizing. I must say I must be an official Jessica groupie as this will be my third one this year :-)

  10. carol

    Jessica, i just recommended the iPad course I took from you (again!) and wanted to send a link, but your store is kind of confusing now. I don’t see the full course with all the workbooks listed in one place. Am I missing something obvious?

  11. jessica Post author

    HI Carol,

    The entire iPad Studio Workshop was discontinued a year ago (ran through 2013) because too much has changed and needed to be updated.

    I have updated certain workbooks and offer them individually, but you get to them by clicking the iPad link on the Home page at Cre8it.

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